The Nourish Gin Festival & The Devon Street Food Awards return to Bovey Tracey in September

Music: Fri 1 & Sat 2 September

Food & Craft: Sat 2 September

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Nourish Festival, now in its 4th year, has become synonymous with fine food, craft and music of the highest quality presented in the heart of Bovey Tracey, Devon.

The Devon Street Food Awards at Nourish Festival in association with Devon Life turns for another successful year celebrating the very best in Street Food in Devon. The county is packed full of inspirational and exciting street food producers and Nourish celebrates those Food Heroes. Street Food producers from across Devon are invited to enter and present to our judges Andy Cooper, editor of Devon Life, Kate Haskell, ITV weather presenter & Devon Life columnist and Alex Murdin, Devon Home Cook of the Year and former director of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, are suitably looking forward to the enviable task of sampling the food.

We will present an eclectic, exciting and above all delicious mix of street food at Nourish so whether you create Caribbean, Indian, Spanish, Moroccan flavours, wood fired Italian pizza, French crepes, Mexican street food, fish delicacies or a proper pie. A flavour to suit everyone.

We are extremely partial to a decent gin & tonic and with the soon to be opened Dartmoor Distillery in Bovey Tracey, we are rather keen to announce The Nourish Gin Festival. South West produces of artisan gin will gather for us all to enjoy at Nourish in September. Our Gin Festival is supported by Fever Tree Tonic and Tarquin’s Gin.

The Nourish Food & Drink Fair will fill Bovey’s high street with some of the best producers from the South West on Sat 2 September. We invited producers of the widest possible variety of excellent food. We had 2 simple criteria, you make the best and you live in the South West of England. Expect to find artisan cheeses, preserves, bread, cakes, cordials, vegetables, herbs, beer, game, meat, fish, wine, liqueurs, cider, relishes, pates, handmade chocolates, oils, pies and even speciality mushrooms. An exceptional collection of epicurean delights.

Other events include The Bovey Bake Off and Junior Bovey Bake Off, will once again get the community reaching for their mixing bowls judged by our own Queen of Cakes, Tracey Godwin.

The Nourish Contemporary Craft Fair will be hosted in the Methodist Church Hall, showcasing beautiful handmade craft from across the South West with craft demonstrations and other craft events taking place at Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Exceptional makers from across the South West will present an inspirational selection of jewellery, pottery, glass, textiles and wood

The Nourish Music programme from 1 September will present a rare performance from world renowned cellist, Steven Isserllis. Isserlis, who sells out Wigmore Hall and venues across the globe will be performing in Bovey Tracey on Friday September 1st in the intimate surroundings of St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas Church. A truly unique experience. THIS CONCERT IS NOW SOLD OUT

The Festival also features Japanese pianist, Noriko Ogawa. Noriko appears with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras including recent and forthcoming performances with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Noriko will be performing in Bovey Tracey on Friday September 2nd at St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas Church.

Superlocrian, our Saturday afternoon concert, brings together two trumpets, two trombones and two saxophones to create a thrilling sound where the dynamic edge of brass sits alongside the warm, soulful sounds of saxes and flute; a concert promising adrenaline, emotion – and superb musicianship.

Nourish Festival organiser Sarah James said:

“We are delighted that Nourish Festival has been welcomed so warmly to Bovey Tracey. It has been a success for the stall holders and craft makers visiting the town, for the local traders, and best of all for the local community. There is such a buzz in the town with so many people visiting the food stalls, talking to expert craftspeople and taking part in our own Bovey Bake Off. I’m also very excited about our Devon Street Food Awards and looking forward very much to our Gin Festival!

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The music programme continues to be a tremendous success, and I look forward to welcoming Steven Isserlis, Noriko Ogawa and Superlocrian. A weekend to remember”

Nourish Festival is a community initiative led by The Contemporary Craft Festival, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed.

The Food & Craft Fair on Sat 2 Sept are free. Concerts on 1 & 2 September are ticketed. Full details and ticket information can be found at www.nourishfestival.org. Tickets will also available via our Box Office at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Notes for editors

Nourish is an annual event produced in association with The Contemporary Craft Festival, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed. The event celebrates the very best in food, craft and music, and takes place in Bovey Tracey, Devon, UK. Music: Fri 1 & Sat 2 September Food & Craft: Sat 2 Sept

Contact Sarah James hello@nourishfestival.org 01626 437653 www.nourishfestival.org @nourishfestival

Photography courtesy of the Nourish Festival apart from the Featured Image which is ours.  We visited the festival a few years ago and had a great time! Read our write-up here

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Exeter Food Festival: A quick round-up by Chris Gower

The Exeter Food Festival is a massive part of the culinary calendar for foodies in this wonderful city.  Each year Eating Exeter has written about it and attended dutifully, watched the demos, tweeted and blogged about the experience enjoying the wealth of talented producers and chefs that our region produce.

This year myself and Steve Heath (Chilli Head Chef) had the honour of being part of the action in more ways than one.  Not only was I part of the Question and Answer panel in the BBC Radio Devon Tent, but I was an ‘official’ (ish) photographer and Steve took co-hosted a demo with South Devon Chilli Farm in the Dart’s Farm Teepee.

The festival started off with a photo-call where we were able to snap some newspaper worthy photos in the presence of the great MC himself.

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It was a very informal meeting, where Michael proved that having an Otter Valley ice-cream for breakfast was part of living the dream!

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Neither Lauren or I could make the Saturday, but we definitely had Sunday and Monday covered!  This wasn’t the only thing that was covered, because it was a good thing the majority of the food festival was covered as it rained pretty much solidly on both these days.

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But across the board, this was the only dampener on a fantastic event that constantly draws a large and eclectic array of people from across the region.  The Northernhay Gardens is Britain’s oldest public space having been laid out originally in 1612, the gardens curve around the base of Exeter Castle which makes this the ideal space for holding an event like this, and with the inclusion of the Castle as part of the Festival too, not only can festival-goers experience the best food and drink, they are treated to a walk through history at the same time.

I genuinely love this festival.  The structured program of events, the vast range of activities and goings on, the producers, the after-dark parties and the sheer number of organisations and businesses make me proud to be in a county that takes as much pride in its food & drink as ours does.

Now know that this post is completely bias.  It is also mostly made up of photos so please scroll down for more images of the Sunday that I attended.

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The first stop for us was the Beer Tent.  I had pre-radio nerves and needed some liquid assistance.  As usual I go for Otter Brewery Otter Bright and Tori went for her Dartmoor Ale favourite Jail Ale which was very much needed.

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Being invited to speak on the radio was a great honour.  I was lucky enough to share the stage with my foodie friends Tara (Tara’s Busy Kitchen) and Harry who was standing in for Nick Hook who is Mr Devon Food Hour.

Thirty minutes passed like five, and before you know it, its over.  We had a blast talking about writing a food blog and the fun that it can be, also how easy it is just to start writing.

In no-time at all we were sat waiting for the highlight of the day in the Question Tent, Paul Ainsworth, Michael Caines, Tom Kerridge and Michael Wignall answering questions.

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It was fascinating to see into the minds of these great chefs, what a rare opportunity to have four of the UK’s best in one place!

Then it was time to hot-foot it down to the Cookery Theatre to see the mighty Tom Kerridge demo a classic British favourite.

But before that, we were lucky to catch Michael Caines and Adam Little’s demo.  Adam is a fantastic chef and is Head Chef at the Exeter Golf and Country Club that we reviewed a while back; it was great to see Adam taking the stage even though he was going back later for evening service!

After Adam and Michael’s demonstration finished, the crowd swelled in readiness for the main event.  Tom Kerridge, chef-owner of the Hands and Flowers which has two Michelin Stars demonstrated essentially Steak and Chips, a perfect accompaniment to the Otter Ale that was being served at the VIP guest table.

It was quite awe-inspiring to see the master at work, and even more of an honour given the photos that I ended up taking were some of the best (imho) of my dubious photography career.

I was also thrilled see the legendary Paul Ainsworth’s demo towards the end of the day as well, I have never seen a man handle a lime with so much ease and grace!  Joking aside, I really enjoyed his demonstration – he explained everything carefully and really engaged the room.

The come-down from seeing these demos needed food and by the time we had got our fill of chefs doing magical things with meat, we needed food badly.

I had my eye on a couple of vendors but I was particularly taken with The Guildable Manor, a fresh import from Borough Market in London and we met the lovely affable Dan who introduced us to his lovely sausage-kebab creations with his scratch made sauces and fresh baguettes.

By the end of the day we had run out of time, so we didn’t really get to look at the producers this year.  We did enjoy a small glass of Crispy Pig before we left, but our day was tiring and it was definitely time to go home.

Had we made it to Monday as well we would have seen one of my favourite food bloggers, who coincidentally happens to also be the husband of Co-Editor Lauren, the Chilli Head Chef Steve Heath take part in a demo with South Devon Chilli Farm along with another one of my favourite food bloggers, Mr Marcus Bawdon (in the Hawaiian shirt)!

Steve co-hosted with Phil of SDCF and answered questions from the public.  Steve also helped out with the chilli sauce eating competition with James Dart of Dart’s Farm compering, and Marcus cooked some meat in one of SDCF’s newest sauces.

Exeter Food Festival will always be my favourite food festival.  We are lucky enough to live in a county with a reputation for exquisite and epic food producers and culinary creators, and the festival is a gleaming example of how to celebrate this.  Next year the fun repeats with big names and awesome events  – Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink returns for its 15th year on 5th, 6th and 7th May – the early May Bank Holiday 2018.

http://www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk/ 

Salcombe Crab Festival – by Lauren Heath

What a food filled weekend! On Sunday 30th April, I attended the Salcombe Crab Festival; I was not going to let our British weather make us crabby by stopping our bank holiday weekend fun, so my family and I donned the raincoats and wellies and off we drove.

Salcombe is approx. 1 hour south of Exeter, on a steady drive and boy you do know when are you nearby; the sea down below just peeking through the trees, and the lushest bright green roadsides guiding you down to the bay.

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Salcombe Crabfest is a smaller annual festival, organised by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Salcombe and sponsored by Favis of Salcombe and Coast and Country Cottages. It has music, food stalls and food related events spread throughout the town which creates a lovely festival vibe.

This year the event was being opened by Matt Tebbutt, well known for presenting Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped as well as Saturday Kitchen and a being a regular contributor for Waitrose Kitchen magazine.  He would then also be cooking up a storm (although nature had already given us one) with local food hero and seafood ambassador Mitch Tonks, the co-founder of the Rockfish restaurants and takeaways as well as The Seahorse Restaurant in Dartmouth.

The cookery demo was great, very free flowing with both of them having a good time and answering any random questions thrown at them. Mitch cooked Singapore spicy crab as well as deep fried soft shell crab rolls which made their way around the lucky few in the audience and Matt cooked crab ravioli using spring roll papers – a trick I am going to try at home! The ravioli was absolutely delicious, served in a crab broth – I was near enough to the front to be fast enough with a nearby spoon!

There was an hourly tour at Salcombe Gin Distilling Co and this was an eye opener; we got a shortened version of their new Gin School offering, so learnt a bit about how they make the gin, chose some ingredients and got to taste the final product. Do look them up for a gift for yourself or a loved one (they are award winning already too – see recent press release here) you get to create your very own flavour of gin and not only take a full bottle home, but also enjoy your drinks in their lovely bar afterwards.

We saw JB Preserves, Bell and Loxton Oils, Favis of Salcombe, Salcombe Brew Coffee, South Devon Chilli Farm, amongst others. My son loves crab so enjoyed a fresh pot full and he even tried an oyster!

Live music filled the air wherever we were, the local shops were buzzing and who can resist a view like this round every corner?

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For a free event, it’s a great day out – perhaps plan a night or two away for next year and wander around the festival enjoying the many food and drink delights on offer without having to drive home.

Look out for next years date and get it in the diary!

 

Exeter Food Festival 2017 starts today!

Today marks the beginning of the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink, taking place in Northernhay Gardens in Exeter.

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This year is chocked full of producers, demos and an appearance from Tom Kerridge too. Have a gander at the programme!

Eating Exeter editor Chris Gower will be appearing in the BBC Radio Devon Q&A Tent tomorrow from 13:15 to 13:45 with the fab Nick Hook and Tara Smith about digital dining and the rise of the food bloggers!

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For more information about the festival, including the fabulous evening events – head to the Exeter Food Festival website and follow on Twitter

River Cottage announces Spring Food Fair dates – 27th, 28th, 29th May 2017

River Cottage has announced dates for its Spring Food Fair – held across the late May Bank Holiday. This hugely popular event is a real treat for the senses and a must-visit for foodies and gardeners. It’s a chance to get the family down to River Cottage, to explore the farm nestled in gorgeous East Devon and to indulge in the sights, sounds and tastes of spring in the heart of the Devon countryside.

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The Fair is packed full of activities and family fun – from chef demos, artisan food stalls, kids’ workshops, talks and live music to garden and foraging tours from River Cottage foraging guru John Wright.

Little ones go free and will be thoroughly entertained throughout with a huge choice of child- friendly activities including falconry displays, donkey rides, felting and lucet braiding workshops, animal area, candle making, demonstrations by local craftsmen, bubble workshops, face painting, skittles and hula hooping – to name but a few.

Grab the chance to take a peek behind the scenes at River Cottage HQ and – new for 2017, visitors can enjoy a sit down meal in the pop up restaurant, located in the famous farmhouse itself. The special Farmhouse Feasts feature a delicious menu designed using fresh, seasonal and local produce. River Cottage street food will join forces with local producers to make sure no-one goes hungry as they enjoy the festivities. As well as delicious dishes from the street food stands, there will also be a fully licensed bar serving local ciders, beers, wines and exciting seasonal cocktails.

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A team of experts will be on hand to share their culinary tips and seeds of gardening wisdom throughout the three-day weekend. The Main Stage will be packed with cookery demonstrations from guest chefs, while green-fingered visitors can head to the Garden Stage to listen to expert talks on a huge variety of topics related to horticulture.

River Cottage has confirmed an exciting line-up of chefs. Taking to the Main Stage are Gill Meller, Matthew Fort, Signe Johansen, Tom Hunt, Mark Hix, Louise Gray, Naomi Devlin and Rachel De Thample to name a few. Organic kitchen gardener, chef and writer, Stephanie Hafferty will speak on the Garden Stage with Charles Dowding, market gardener, author, teacher and ‘no dig’ advocate alongside River Cottage’s head Gardener Will Livingstone and many other garden experts. Talks hosted on the Garden Stage will cover all aspects of organic, sustainable and unique horticultural methods including; seed-saving, biodynamics, market gardening, no dig, soil and compost and much more.

Those keen to learn something new can book onto one of the popular masterclasses.

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Starting at just £15 these include Bread & Butter from scratch in an hour, Wild Cocktails and Super Salads and Ferments, whilst kids can learn the secrets behind Cookies and Doughnuts.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the website:

www.rivercottage.net/springfoodfair. River Cottage is running a free park and ride service to and from the Fair or add to the experience with VIP parking onsite available for just £5 per car.

Photos courtesy of River Cottage/OneVoice PR

Eating Exeter does Powderham Food Festival

Both of us visited Powderham Food Festival independently, and wandered round in our groups enjoying many facets of the festival. Now in it’s 5th year, it hosts food producers, food stalls, children’s activities, a cookery theatre and it’s USP is the Fire and Smoke Tent; most events with BBQ events are mainly for BBQ enthusiasts, this drops it right in the middle of mainstream. With the extensive landscape, dotted with deer, a background of the castle and the estuary in the distance – the setting is a beautiful one. There is something for everyone, here are our best bits:

Lauren:

Last year we experienced this festival on a misty autumn day and this year, it was a glorious sunny day. I love how the festival is well spread out inside and outside the grounds, on different levels.

You pass though the initial courtyard filled with suppliers – too many to mention. There are also even more placed throughout the castle’s beautiful lower ground floor.

One of the first activities we came across was Fun Kitchen, who were there to keep the children entertained, learning to cook whilst having fun. Joe Mann does an incredible job of commanding every little persons attention and they end with something edible, made by their own little fair hands, to take home at the end of it.

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I loved the Theatre of Fire and Smoke; a huge teepee like tent,  filled with benches surrounding a large fire. Local oracle Marcus Bawdon of Devon Wood Smoke and UK BBQ mag put on a very interesting itinerary with 2015 BBQ champ Simon Dyer and other guest cooks. Plenty of demo’s, q&a and the all important tasters with plenty for everyone.

There was a larger range of food and drink stalls this year, with gin and cocktails an obvious trend.

Quirky vehicles converted into food and drink delights also included Dolly Mixers, Lolas Wings and Gourmet Cheesy Delights

We were hungry fairly early on and, where usually I struggle to choose food (through sheer reason of wanting to eat it all) I easily settled on the cool Grandpa Franks and their reuben dog – a firm hot diggety dawg smothered in beef brisket, monteray jack cheese and some jalapeno’s thrown in for good measure – mouth wateringly good. My son chose a fantastic super-fast-oven-baked pizza from Pizza Buona, and it was delicious.

The Exeter Cookery School cookery theatre included demo’s from Richard of Angelas Restaurant, ex River Cottage chef Tim Maddams, and of course the host, ECS director and chef Jim Fisher. Tim cooked 4 courses, one of which I was delighted to be a selected diner due to the speed I put my hands up like antlers! (A fun and fair selection process). I enjoyed pigeon with mushrooms and blackberries all foraged by Tim himself, it was delicious! He was incredbly entertaining, full of anecdotes and clearly passionate about food and its origins, with uncomplicated dishes.

We purchased some lovely fudge from Devon Fudge, Steve was delighted to find a fantastic Indian naga chili pickle from India In A Jar, and my son loves beetroot and apple juice so he chose to buy some with his pocket money. I couldn’t leave without grabbing a caramel chocolate tart from Te Cake and coffee from Crankhouse – I consumed these two together so swiftly in joyous celebration of a good day out, I didn’t even take a photo!

An affordable and lovely day out full of local suppliers and food producers and all the demo’s included. If you haven’t visited it yet, you best put it in the diary for next year, and hot foot it towards the smoke and fire tent early on – it gets busy. Sit a while until hunger and curiosity lure you out, and enjoy everything this dynamic festival has to offer for yourself.

Chris:

Summer’s final death knell fell on the weekend of The Powderham Food Festival.  A gloriously sunny Sunday made up for a wet Saturday, and with this final surge, we close the doors on Summer with a superb send-off.

The festival is a relative new-comer to the foodie calendar, but it has been booming in popularity each year.  I finally got the chance to visit and experience the clustering bustle of culinary craziness takes over the home of the Earl of Devon.  This year has been particularly successful for the festival, firmly embedding it in the region’s foodie calendar.

Tori has been poorly for quite a few weeks now, so I took my lovely mum.  The car parking was logical and well laid out, a little walk up to the castle with an optional tractor service for the less mobile.  We we gently pottered along some of the Powderham’s magnificent stags casually laid themselves out by the fence, drawing much attention from the snappers and onlookers.

The first section of exhibitors were local producers in the courtyard.  This was the entry point that all punters walked through on their way to the rest of the festival on the other side of the castle.  Here we found Bell & Loxton with their lovely cold-pressed rapeseed oil, which I bought two bottles of including a Garlic oil that I have since used to cover everything edible in.

Also Shaldon Bakery, my favourite bakers I might add, was there in force with some delicious looking breads including the infamous and delicious Uglibun.

We took a trip around to the other side of the castle and there were street-food stalls, more producers, even a mobile gin bar!  The highlight for me was the Theatre of Fire and Smoke which was MC’d by one of my favourite bloggers Marcus Bawdon and his pal Simon, who is also a legend in the BBQ world.

It was great to wander around taking in surroundings, to watch some of the demos at the Fire and Smoke tent and even get to taste some samples from the demo too!

Our last stop was the Exeter Cookery School Demo tent where we watched chef-maestro-and-nice-chap Jim Fisher and friends, including foodie hero Tim Maddams, share their extensive knowledge and skills to eager foodies.

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Before we headed home we were able to walk back through the castle itself which was home to even more local producers.

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Including a Pork Pie cake!!

This has to be one of my favourite food festivals.  The exquisite surroundings of the castle, the reasonable entry fee, the choice and above all else the celebration of some of the fantastic local producers and street food stalls makes you realise just how amazing we are when it comes to producing good things with great ingredients, grown and created on our front door.

www.powderhamfoodfestival.com

Continue reading “Eating Exeter does Powderham Food Festival”

Nourish Festival launches The Devon Street Food Awards & International music comes to Bovey Tracey

Music: Thu 1, Fri 2 & Sat 3 September
Food & Craft: Sat 3 Sept

The Nourish Festival will bring some of the region’s top food producers and craft makers to Bovey Tracey, alongside a programme of nationally and internationally renowned musicians.

This year, Nourish Festival launches The Devon Street Food Awards, a lively competition to decide who is the Best Street producer in Devon. Devon is packed full of inspirational and exciting street food producers and Nourish celebrates our Food Heroes.

The Nourish Food Fair will fill Bovey’s high street with some of the best producers from the South West on Sat 3 September. Stalls will be selling a huge variety of locally produced food including artisan cheeses, preserves, handmade chocolates, oils, pies and speciality mushrooms.

A selection of street food will offer Caribbean, Spanish, Moroccan, wood fired Italian pizza, French crepes, Mexican, local seafood and the good old British Banger.

The Bovey Bake Off and Junior Bovey Bake Off will get the community reaching for their mixing bowls. The competition will be judged by Bovey’s own Queen of Cakes, Pauline Woodward.

The Nourish Contemporary Craft Fair will be hosted in the Methodist Church Hall, showcasing beautiful handmade craft from across the South West with craft demonstrations and other events taking place at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Exceptional makers from across the South West will present an inspirational selection of jewellery, pottery, glass, textiles and wood.

The Nourish Music programme from 1-3 September will see the internationally renowned Brodsky Quartet return with Schubert’s Death & The Maiden.

The Festival also features the Westcountry debut of the Dutch group, Calefax Reed Quintet, whose flair for performance and communication is matched only by their musicianship. In their 30-year career Calefax have played all the great music festivals and venues across Europe. For Nourish they present a fairytale-inspired programme, including Tchaikovsky, Ellington & Ravel, and featuring Bach’s iconic Chaconne.

Nourish Festival organiser Sarah James said:
“We are delighted that Nourish Festival has been welcomed so warmly to Bovey Tracey. It has been a success for the stall holders and craft makers visiting the town, for the local traders, and best of all for the local community. There is such a buzz in the town with so many people visiting the food stalls, talking to expert craftspeople and taking part in our own Bovey Bake Off. I’m also very excited about the new Devon Street Food Awards, we’ve had a huge response from Devon’s food companies.

“The music programme continues to be a tremendous success, and I look forward to welcoming The Brodsky Quartet once more. Calefax Reed Quintet from the Netherlands is a very exciting addition to our programme. The Devon Guild’s Japanese exhibition inspired us and the Thursday performance at the Guild is an evening of puppetry and music with a Japanese theme. Kagemusha Taiko drumming will raise the roof at the Methodist Hall on Saturday. A weekend to remember”

Nourish Festival is a community initiative led by The Contemporary Craft FestivalThe Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed.

The Food & Craft Fair on Sat 3 Sept are free. Concerts on 1, 2 & 3 September will be ticketed. Full details and ticket information can be found at www.nourishfestival.org.

Competition! – Win tickets to Powderham Food Festival

Its competition fever here at Eating Exeter! In our third competition this summer, we have a family ticket to this year’s Powderham Food Festival up for grabs.  This one is a Twitter competition, so get on Twitter and get retweeting!

As ever our competitions are super easy, and you’ll need your wits about you as you follow the instructions on the image below! Simply Retweet this image making sure you mention @eatingexeter and @powderhamfest using the hashtag #powderhamfest.

WIN a family ticket!

Food Festivals in Devon! – Dates for your diary

Being a foodie can be an organisational nightmare sometimes.  Devon and The South West has so many fantastic foodie things going on, so as you might think there are many opportunities to celebrate the fantastic produce we are known for.

There are food festivals happening all over our fair county.  The excitement of the Exeter Food Festival might have passed for this year, but there are other festivals happening over summer.  Here are just a few for your diary!  I expect there are more, but this is just a selection, with handy screendumps of websites too – click the text (not the screendump) to get to the website.

Ottery St Mary Food & Families Day – 4th June 2016

FF Ottery

Kingsbridge Food & Music Festival – 3rd to 5th June

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Flavour Fest in Plymouth – 3rd to 5th June

FF - Plymouth Flavour Fest

Crediton Food Festival – 18th to 19th June 2016

FF Crediton

Nourish Festival in Bovey Tracey – 3rd September

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Taste Of The Teign – September 19th – 25th

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Powderham Food Festival – 1st to 2nd October 2016

FF Powderham

Dartmoth Food Festival – 21st to 23rd October

FF Dartmouth

If there are any other food festivals that you reckon we should add to the list, please contact Eating Exeter via the contact page.

Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink – by Lauren Heath

Wow – what a weekend! I hope everyone who attended the festival had a great time, I certainly did. We are avid food market and festival go-ers in Devon, Cornwall and beyond, and I believe this is the largest and best food festival in the South West. Now in its 13th year, it is still going from strength to strength.

My poor Samsung phone was used and abused with the amount of pictures I took, so this review will be more of a feast for the eyes, in order to capture the spirit and joy of such an event.

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I attended the event on Saturday and Sunday; the former on my own so I could whizz round a bit more, catch up with some foodie acquaintances who were exhibiting, and also enjoy the VIP lounge and the latter with my chef husband and my 6yr old son. I enjoyed myself thoroughly both days – this is certainly a festival for anyone – singletons, couples, groups and families. The initial area around the castle contains the ‘take-away’ food tents serving an eclectic mix of meals, along with a newly placed and larger bar area, with the music stage in the usual place.

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VIP Lounge

Leading off the castle terrace is the VIP lounge which is a great treat if you purchase the upgraded ticket. It includes VIP access to a room where you can escape the hustle and bustle, enjoy a coffee at any time, 2 drinks from the bar, afternoon tea as well as a relaxing treat from a massage therapist (provided this year by the award winning Wear Park Spa, based at Exeter Golf and Country Club) – all included in the price! I sat down and enjoyed a wonderful hand exfoliation and massage, treating my weary typing hands to stress relief for 15 minutes. I grabbed one of my free refreshments in a take-away cup from the bar, and off I went, feeling refreshed.

I popped into the ballroom, just beside the stage area, to say a quick hello to Susy Atkins who kindly took part in my ’10 Questions’ feature last week (https://eatingexeter.co/2016/04/18/10-questions-with-susy-atkins-by-lauren-heath/) before she proceeded to host and educate enthusiastic tasters to an informative wine tasting session – a new and diverse addition to the schedule this year.

I continued down to Northernhay Gardens and caught a cookery demo in both the Cookery Theatre, hosted by co-founder Michael Caines MBE (pictured below with me) and the Westcountry Bakery hosted by Great British Bake Off contestant and local teacher-turned-cookbook author Glenn Cosby. Plenty of room for people to sit and enjoy the various demo’s from the array of local talent we are lucky to have in the county.

I sat at home that evening feeling very satisfied and on a bit of a high actually from a really delightful couple of hours.

The Sunday was a more thorough adventure, working our way through the Food and Drink Pavilions with over 100 artisan food and drink producers – I made a concious decision to have very little breakfast in order to really savour the delights on offer. Endless treats in offer – beer, wine, gin, cheese, desserts, jerky, cured meats, curry kits, pies, preserves – the list goes on. Well laid out, with enough room between each stand – this event is pushchair and wheelchair friendly thanks to the wide aisles in the tent – although on a very busy day it could prove a slight struggle but by no fault of the organisers, more so the effect of such a good reputation that many flock here in their droves.

We sat in the Food is Fun Teepee on a pretty yet simply decorated bench table to enjoy a demo from Darts Farm’s head chef Paul Matthews who cooked salmon over applewood smoke, the juiciest ever pork belly and then lemon mousse, whilst some matching wines from the renowned Pebblebed were discussed by an expert. Delicious tasters were passed round on wooden platters, along with wine tasters to match. All extremely delightful!

Behind us children were enjoying making their own pizzas, decorating cupcakes and then being entertained with food science by Fun Kitchen. Further along from the Food Pavilions was Little Cookies with Fun Fast Food (healthier alternatives), Food is Fun Kids Cooking and Kenniford Farm with their beautiful farm animals, as well a some face painting and junk modelling – enough to keep the children entertained.

A few craft stalls were place down the Queen Street end of the gardens if you fancied a purchase for your home, yourself or perhaps a gift for someone else. Walking back up the hill, we re-entered the Food Pavilions for round 2 and some final purchases.

All in all, a fantastic event for any food lover, in fact, anyone who wants a good time with food, drink and music a plenty. The After Dark Festival was on again this year, with live music going on until late, for which you could buy tickets separately and just have a good night out even if you didn’t want to attend the main festival in the day.

I can only imagine the amount of work that goes into making this a smoothly running and enjoyable day so a huge thanks and congrats to co-founder Michael Caines MBE and his teams for their vision and hard work. Of course all hail the brave and hardworking local suppliers too, without them there would be nothing to enjoy.

Thanks to mother nature for the fabulous weather on Saturday and Sunday, which makes this type of event all the more enjoyable. I can’t wait until next year! If you can’t wait either, I can tell you the dates to put in your diary already: 21st – 23rd April 2017. See you there!

A CELEBRATION OF WESTCOUNTRY PRODUCE AT THE 13TH EXETER FESTIVAL OF SOUTH WEST FOOD & DRINK 2016

The multi-award winning Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink returns to Northernhay Gardens and Exeter Castle on Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th April for another year of exceptional food, drink and demonstrations from top regional chefs. With more exhibitors, chefs and local producers expected than ever before the Exeter Food Festival is set to be the ultimate foodie weekend and the region’s leading food Festival. 2016 will be its 13th year.

Championed by Michael Caines MBE, the Festival hosts a packed programme of chef demonstrations, hands on master classes and tastings as well as a dedicated children’s programme including Fun Kitchen cookery classes, farm animals, storytelling and craft activities. The Festival’s charity partners Exeter Foundation and Families for Children will be on hand to help teach little ones more about their food and where it comes from.

Exeter Food Festival

The Darts Farm Taste and Knowledge Teepee’s, Festival Question Time hosted by BBC Radio Devon and the Westcountry Bakery Theatre will return with a packed schedule of informative and fun workshops, demonstrations and talks on topical food and drink themes. New features planned will focus on artisan bread baking and a milk bar – celebrating the region’s many dairy farms and looking at the importance of provenance

Visitors can browse from over 100 artisan food and drink producers from the region who exhibit in three pavilions; providing plenty of opportunities for trying, buying and chatting to the people behind the South West’s delicious food and drink. Local musicians will take to stages throughout the festival grounds and the weekend to entertain visitors

Michael Caines, 2-Michelin star chef and Festival co-founder, says, “The Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink promotes the vibrant food and drink of the region giving visitors the chance to try local food, talk to producers and learn more about cooking and farming. The Festival sets out to educate, entertain, feed and refresh people and is open to people of all ages who want to enjoy the great food and drink of our region.

Visitors can also enjoy three Festival After Dark Party Nights from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd April 2016. With its unique party atmosphere, the Festival After Dark Party Nights bring a host of exciting and talented musicians to the stage to entertain revellers until late. Producers will be selling local beers, wines, ciders and a wide selection of tempting street food throughout each evening ensuring party goers a tasty combination of excellent food and exciting bands and musicians.

Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is a not for profit event.

For more information or to buy tickets visit: http://www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk.

The Beer & Bacon Festival 2015: Good Game have done good!

My birthday falls on September 12th.  Working in the lovely world of education (as support staff not teaching btw) this is most probably one of the most inconvenient times which to have been born, as quite often the start of the new academic year falls slap bang on the day itself or very close to it.

This also means that one cannot have protracted days off which to celebrate the birthday unless it it on a Saturday.  And this year it was on a Saturday. Even better, it was on the same day that the Good Game organised Beer and Bacon Festival takes place, and this year it was being held on Topsham’s historic quayside.

The easiest way to get to it is by bus.  As of 2015, there is still a semi-regular bus service that goes from the quayside in to the centre of town.  However this is due to change with the reduction of services.  If its 2016 and you’re reading this, double check, it might not be running.

Topsham is one of the easiest places to get to with public transport.  The main road to Exmouth runs through it, and it has a station about half a mile from the quayside.  This is the sort of event you definitely don’t want to have to drive to.

Secondly, there are some excellent food stalls (Eat The Smoke, La Catina, Good Game themselves and others…) and a beer tent.  Its not a massive festival. Its about chilling on the quayside, enjoying fun times with friends or watching the paddle boarders as we did.

The community spirit is very much alive. Topsham is a lovely and welcoming town, and the Topshamites have definitely taken Good Game under their wing.  Exeter’s only charcuterie has really grown from strength to strength over the last few years.

The Pig and Pallet is worth a visit.  Based on the quayside, they are starting to do good food, and recently there have been some nice looking dishes emerging from the pallet based cafe.

The festival was great.  It could be larger, maybe more food, maybe more choice of ales from other parts of Devon, but much of this is about planning and how much of the space on the quayside would be able to cope with the crowds that would appear.  I hope it is able to run next year, and I hope I am able to visit it next year!

Dartmouth Food Festival is nearly here! Friday 23 – Sunday 25 October 2015

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 October 2015

Dartmouth’s annual food festival is back from Friday 23rd October for three days and two evenings of exceptional regional produce, exciting foodie talks, workshops, tasting events, family friendly activities and much more.

Festival Advocate, restauranteur, food writer and chef Mitch Tonks says: “I can’t wait for the Dartmouth Food Festival to open again this year. The event is a real celebration of truly exceptional produce and great British cooking. It’s the perfect place to explore food and drink, talk to the people who produce it, watch a cooking demo and eat well – bring the kids too, there’s fun for all the family!”

Now in its 13th year, the festival takes place in various locations across the town of Dartmouth in South Devon including the Embankment, Royal Avenue Gardens and Market Square. The majority of the festival is free with some ticketed events including Eat Your Words talks at the Flavel Arts Centre and Flavel Church and Drinks Seminars at Browns Hotel among other venues. Tickets are priced from just £5 and can be purchased online at www.dartmouthfoodfestival.com

With over 100 producers, the festival attracts visitors from near and far to browse from a wide selection of sumptuous food and drink and buy direct from the growers, makers, bakers and brewers. Stands selling breads, cheeses, meats, drinks, wines, beers, chocolate, flapjack, cake, chutneys, oils and much more will be available from 10am each day.

The festival plays host to over 20 chef demonstrations including Mitch Tonks and Angela Hartnett MBE, TV chef Matt Tebbutt and Gelf Alderson of River Cottage among other talented, inspirational figures and local food heroes. Susy Atkins, wine writer and broadcaster will host a series of drinks seminars at Browns Hotel, accompanied and co-hosted by top speakers including Tom McLaughlin-Green, Master of Wine Liam Steevenson and sommelier Rebecca Mitchell.

Susy Atkins said: “’We are especially excited about the great drinks seminars this year, again held in the comfortable and modern surroundings of Browns Hotel, Victoria Road. Here’s a great opportunity to learn from (and be inspired by) tutored tastings from top wine experts such as Master of Wine Liam Steevenson, renowned merchant Tim McLaughlin-Green and Exeter’s top wine educator Rebecca Mitchell. We’re looking at everything from Sherry to Rioja, New Zealand’s latest releases and spicy food matching! I’ll be on hand throughout and am especially looking forward to showcasing top South-west English wines on Saturday evening. Do come and join us!”

Food Magazine’s Food & Design Festival at Sapphire Spaces

It was only a few months ago that we headed to the luxury settings of bespoke Kitchen and Bathroom specialists, Sapphire Spaces opposite Darts Farm to celebrate the launch of Exeter Cookery School.  We were back, now to help Food Magazine celebrate their Food and Design Festival,
Festival of Food and Design Sapphire Spaces TopshamTo be honest when I first heard about this, I scratched my head.  Why food and design? How does that go together?  But throughout the evening, the concept definitely came together, showcasing some of the region’s finest food in the space provided was an organic and delicious combination that really, just worked.

Guests were treated to delights such as demonstrations from Tom William-Hawkes, chef director at The Salutation Inn in Topsham (it was the second time I had seen Tom in two weeks, having had the pleasure of his cooking at the Dining In The Dark press event), Cooking With Steam demonstration by Gaggenau UK, Frobishers, Clifton Coffee, Portlebay Popcorn and Majestic Wines.  Cheese and biscuits was provided by Dart’s Farm and their magnificent Deli.

The evening was a delightful mix of chatter, networking and social milling, all of which I am fundamentally rubbish at; but thankfully Tori has a subconscious knack for these sorts of events.  It was great to meet Nick from @DevonFoodHour and catch up with Jody from The Pickle Shack, Michelle Xie and Jim & Lucy Fisher from Exeter Cookery School.

I was lucky enough to be armed with one of our nicer cameras from work, so the following post is a few shots from the evening with commentary.  A bit like director’s commentary on DVDs, but hopefully informative and not rambling and inane.

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There are going to be more BIG photos with this post due to the fact that I have nearly ran out of space on my WordPress account, and I am quite simply to tight-fisted to invest in a premium account.

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The canapes were amazing. Created by Tom William-Hawkes, these little beauties are Quail’s Eggs!

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These were beautifully cooked, made from Greendale Beef. I had more than one of these!

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Tom brought some fresh Topsham smoked salmon. It was delightful. Salmon fishing on the River Exe used to be a substantial activity, but in recent years it has declined significantly, there were at one point twenty salmon boats registered at Topsham but this is now only down to two. This salmon was caught by Tom’s dad and walked up to the restaurant. The salmon was smoked in Topsham and prepared for the evening.

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This chap was one of the lobsters being used for the demo tonight. A fresh Lyme Bay Lobster, no cheap Canadian ones here!

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Another one of my favourite canapes of the night were these delicious Fishcakes on a mustard mayo.

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Tori and Michelle Xie!

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The master at work. After creating the canapes, Tom gave a demonstration with lobster. It was a busy night for this chap!

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Fish cakes done!

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The beautiful cheese provided by Darts Farm’s deli. Excellent stuff.

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This amazing creation is courtesy of the Gauggenau demonstration. I defintely need one of these ovens in my house! (lottery win anyone?)

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The Salutation Inn has some interesting nights happening. Dining In The Dark is a definite one to experience if you can, but also the Game Nights sound really good too.

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Jo Rees, founder and Grand High Foody giving her speech at the beginning of the evening.

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Let the demonstration commence!

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The skill and the speed that Tom worked at was amazing. The taste of the lobster was delicious, a really fantastic demonstration.

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The hand of Nick from DevonFoodHour. He asked questions that were far more intelligent, I spent most of my time wondering if it would go with chips. I’m cultured me…

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If you’ve cooked lobster, you should be able to break the claw back. If its cooked this will happen easily. This is what the inside of a lobster claw looks like.

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The final flourish of flowers really brings out the colours. When you see food like this so close, the one thing that jumps out are the vibrance of the colours.

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The salmon being prepared. It had such a deliciously smokey scenting to it.

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Majestic Wines were on hand to talk about their lovely wines. Twas very nice. Far too nice.

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Why some wine glasses are better than others. A fascinating talk from this chap whose name I have managed to mislay somewhere.

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Portlebay Popcorn. The chap from Portlebay Popcorn was giving out lots of popcorn, admittedly I didn’t really get the whole ‘gourmet’ popcorn idea but after a bag of the Sweet and Salty flavour, I could say I am happily converted to the idea.

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Lovely people!

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Strange people.

Powderham Food Festival – October 3rd & 4th

Its nearly time for the Powderham Food Festival and it sounds like its going to be an amazing weekend two-day event! See how our very own Steve Price got on at last year’s festival.

Building on the growing success of Powderham Food Festival, which first launched in 2012 and draws food-lovers from across the region, this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than ever. The popular date in Devon’s culinary calendar has doubled its appeal for 2015, as it is due to take place over two days from 3rd to 4th October – perfect timing as it marks the end of British Food Fortnight.

Back by popular demand comes Powderham Food Festival’s dramatic Theatre of Fire ‘n Smoke, where some of Britain’s best BBQ cooks will be demonstrating their cooking skills over fire pits, BBQs and smokers. Set under the big brown tipi, watch out for Simon Dyer, winner of ITV’s BBQ Champ, Marcus Bawdon – King of Meatopia (2013) and a finalist in Devon Cook of the Year – and the amazing John Gower from Quietwaters Farm, using fish from the Exe Estuary, venison from Powderham’s own deer park, finest locally produced meats and, yes, vegetables too. Ever heard of a fish boil? Discover its magic with Toby Ingham from Lympstone-based Flippin’ Fresh Seafood with his sizzling lobsters. This is BBQ food at its tastiest – available to buy and enjoy too.

Foodies will also be able to sample the many delectable delights from over 100 of the South West’s finest food producers, from Kenton’s Humble Eggs – a pretty duck egg blue shepherd’s hut from which is produced all sorts of eggy favourites – to true artisan food producers Good Game, whose mission to make the best-tasting game and cured meat in the world is right on track. Keen cooks will also be able to learn some top cheffy tricks, and all in the magical surroundings of the 600-year-old Powderham Castle set beside the picturesque Exe Estuary.

The occasion promises saucepans full of fun for all the family, with entertainment at every turn. In celebration of British Egg Week (30th September to 6th October) and the vital role that the egg plays in so many mouthwatering culinary creations, Powderham Food Festival has teamed up with the British Hen Welfare Trust. The Devon-based charity set up to educate the public about laying hen welfare will be on hand to impart their extensive knowledge, and providing the ‘ahh’ factor will be hens clucking and scratching and maybe even laying some super fresh eggs.

For those keen to polish up their cooking skills, visitors can watch the action on not one but five demonstration stages. The main stage will be hosted by new foodie enterprise, Exeter Cookery School. Soon to set up on Exeter’s historic Quayside, Masterchef semi-finalist and founder Jim Fisher will take Powderham Food Festival attendees on a journey of fantastic flavours and offer tips and tricks on how to wow friends and family.

As well as performing his own inimitable style of cooking, Jim will welcome to the stage consultant chefs Richard Hunt and Peter Gorton. With a combined cheffing experience of over 60 years, Peter and Richard will be taking the Food Festival audience through a range of cooking knowhow and demonstrating some tempting recipes.

As well as the return of the Theatre of Fire and Smoke and the popular Field Kitchen courtesy of the Royal Marines, you can take a step back in time to learn all about 19th Century cooking in the Victorian Kitchen. Not forgetting the next generation of food aficionados, food technology teacher extraordinaire, Joe Mann from Fun Kitchen, will be inviting children to get messy and cook up a storm in the children’s marquee.

Powderham Food Festival Founder Bob Small says: “We always had big plans for the show, but have been overwhelmed by the warmth with which the Festival has been received within the local community as well as across the South West and further afield. And we are delighted that Helpful Holidays, as headline sponsor, and WBW Solicitors have given their loyal support.

“Whether you are perusing the trade stands, sampling the finest produce the region has to offer or just want to be amazed by the culinary skills of chefs, Powderham Food Festival has some exciting treats in store for visitors this year.”

http://www.powderhamfoodfestival.com

All images courtesy of Matt Austin Imagse

River Cottage Summer Fair 2015

In this end of the South West, we are quite lucky really.  We have a number of popular culinary landmarks that any good foodie must visit at least once in their lifetime.  Gidleigh Park, Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, River Cottage HQ, The Riverford Field Kitchen in Buckfastleigh are for me, those placecs in the popular food arena which foodies need pay homage to, sacrifice a virginal aubergine, sing the hymn of the organic carrots to.  So, Chris, How many have you visited?   I hear you cry! Well…I’m getting there (slowly) but I have ticked one off my list when I visited River Cottage HQ for their lovely summer festival this weekend.

It is easy to fall in love with this part of the world, the Jurassic Coast has slowly turned itself in to one of the most desirable parts of the UK to live due to its nice climate and frequent appearances on property shows which profess the benefits of the area.  Lying near the sea with lots of beautiful rolling hills, peppered with forests and a patchwork of green fields that literally roll on as far as the eye can see (cliched but true). I would consider myself an apologist for Mid-Devon and the rugged tranquility of Dartmoor, but East Devon is definitely a sapphire on our doorstep.

If you haven’t heard of River Cottage then I can assume you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 20 years.  In a nutshell River Cottage kicked off in 1997 when journalist/chef/ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall bought a former keepers lodge on the Slape Manor estate in Netherbury called River Cottage.  It featured as part of the renowned TV and book series that showed on Channel 4 in the early noughties. Further series and books followed, and operations were moved from the original location to Park Farm in 2004, where the River Cottage ethos lives on.

Set in 44 acres of farmland, the farm sits on the same hill as Trill Farm (the amazing setting for my Johnny Does Dinner evening in a polytunnel where I met Tim Maddams!) and within spitting distance (pun intended) of Castlewood Vineyard, a boutique vineyard that creates sparkly stuff and has a Wine Festival too which we went to a couple of years ago.


Park Farm plays host to day events, cookery courses and is the base of operations for the River Cottage universe.  You can even book it for a wedding should you wish!  Learn how to forage, how catch fish, butcher and bake on one of their courses and now there is the opportunity to learn a chef apprenticeship at their Chefs School.

And…did I mention? River Cottage also runs a series of successful canteens in Plymouth, Bristol, Axminster and Winchester which brings the River Cottage food ethos to the masses. One might appear in Exeter, but for now I’ll have to settle for a train ride over to Axminster.

One of the many things that go on at River Cottage (here is their calendar) is their Summer Fair which is where I come in.

Our visit to the Summer Fair was an appendage to a longer trip.  We had been to see Polly, co-founder of Eating Exeter and possible future creator or Devouring Dorset (hint hint Pol if you’re reading this) who now resides in glorious Wimborne.  I’ll bash out a post about our culinary adventures in Wimborne after I’ve finished writing this post.  On the way back we decided to pass through and say hello and see what sorts of things were happening at this family friendly event.


Parking is a little way away from Park Farm which is halfway down the hill at the end of a track.  The tractor shuttle service means you’re transported from your car in style and landing safely at the bottom.  But you are allowed to walk the footpath if you feel up to the climb.

The first thing we needed when we arrived was food.  The street food stalls didn’t get much of a look-in with us as we spotted that the River Cottage Kitchen were doing plates of grub for £6.50.  This went down very well (not being a beetroot fan I am now a convert as the Slow-cooked Beetroot with Oregano was superb!  It was accompanied by River Cottage Baked Beans, Potato and Spinach Curry, English Yellow Split Pea Hummus and Pearl Barley Tabbouleh.


After we topped up our energy level, all washed down with a half of River Cottage EPA, it was time to do some exploring.  As we had arrived later then we had planned, its more than likely we missed some bits entirely as we got caught up with watching Falcons and wandering around the River Cottage Kitchen Garden.

Had we been more patient we could have had a garden tour, but for that moment we were happy wandering around this magnificent piece of horticulture.  The highlights for us were the flowering ball artichokes and the sweet pea arch.

Walking around neatly planted patches of vegetables does funny things to someone at a certain stage of their life.  It makes you want to go home and grow things, the inspiration largely washed off by the time we got home and looked at how much of our garden would have to be completely dug-over.  Could I rent an allotment? Only time will tell.  Certainly Tori being the Head Gardener has decided that we simply have to grow Bell Artichokes.

After a meander around the garden we hit the local producer’s tents.  Shaldon Bakery was represented and so was Conker Dry Gin.  Distilled in a copper still, they are Dorset’s only dry gin company and making a name for themselves with their blind optimism and fresh approach to distilling gin.  We’ll definitely be getting a bottle soon…very soon 😀


Further exploring took us up to the demo tent in the Meadow.  We just happened to catch the last part of Good Game’s Steve Williams, I really wanted to go up an say ‘hello’ but we were short on time as it was nearly time for the Falconry display!

Had we been able to come up for the whole day, I might have been tempted to sign up for one of the masterclasses that were running throughout the proceedings.  And it is a credit to the organisers that visitors are literally spoilt for choice in the sort of things that they can get involved with.


River Cottage is such an iconic piece of the food scene in Devon and the Summer Fair was a fantastic way to experience an up-close view of what River Cottage does.  Local producers, activities, large green areas for kids run around in, food to eat, masterclasses to master, things to buy, drink to drink and live music to listen to makes for a fantastic festival atmosphere.

The Nourish Festival returns to Bovey Tracey

Nourish Festival makes a triumphant return to the streets of Bovey Tracey (scroll down for a video!)

Nourish festival of food, craft and music, Bovey Tracey
Music: Fri 4 & Sat 5 September
Food & Craft: Sat 5 Sept

Following the commercial and critical success of the first Nourish Festival last year, Bovey Tracey will once again host some of the region’s top food producers and craft makers, alongside a programme of nationally and internationally renowned musicians.

The Nourish Food Fair will fill Bovey’s high street with some of the best producers from the South West on Sat 5 September.  As well as the regular Bovey Farmer’s Market, the length of the High Street will be heaving with 50 stalls of locally produced handmade cheeses, meat & game, preserves, chocolates and ales, accompanied by some of the region’s most exciting Street Food producers.

The taste-bud-tingling selection of food and drink will get the most experienced foodie excited with wood fired pizza, slow cooked BBQs, vintage tea-time treats, Thai, Caribbean, French, Spanish and even a good old Pastie – all washed down by excellent coffee, cordials and some robust ales.

There is also the opportunity for everyone to release their inner Mary Berry by entering The Great Bovey Bake Off and Junior Bovey Bake Off, offering opportunities to get the community reaching for their mixing bowls and joining in the food fun.

The Nourish Contemporary Craft Fair will be hosted in the Town Hall and on Fore Street. Over 20 exceptional makers from across the South West will present an inspirational selection of jewellery, pottery, glass, textiles and wood.

At the Riverside Mill, visitors will have the opportunity to see the Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s famous summer exhibition and some special events just for Nourish.

Other events include craft demonstrations such as furniture making by local woodsman Ambrose Vevers, and OneHutFull, a multi-sensory experience presented in a beautifully made shepherds hut. OneHutFull immerses visitors in the work of hill farming on Dartmoor.

The Nourish Music programme will see the internationally renowned Brodsky Quartet

returning as headliners on Saturday September 5. New this year, are performances by leading UK piano trio The Gould Piano TrioSirocco Saxophone Quartet, a young and dynamic group of saxophonists from the UK & Germany, and Fontanella, some of the UK’s leading specialist recorder players. Learn Devon will also deliver a range of music workshops for adults in the Methodist Hall.

Nourish Festival organiser Sarah James said:

“We were so delighted with the response to the first Nourish Festival last year. It was a success for the stall holders and craft makers visiting the town, for the local traders, and best of all for the local community. There was such a buzz in the town with so many people visiting the food stalls, talking to expert craftspeople and taking part in our own Bovey Bake Off. The music programme was a tremendous success, and I will always remember the fantastic, moving performance by the Brodsky Quartet, I can’t wait to hear them again. I’m so pleased that we will be welcoming them to Bovey again, along with the other top quality musicians who will be performing for us.”

Nourish Festival is a community initiative led by The Contemporary Craft FestivalThe Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed.

The Food & Craft Fairs on Sat 5 Sept are free to visitors. Concerts on Fri 4 & Sat 5 Sept are ticketed. Full details and ticket booking is available at www.nourishfestival.org.

Dartmouth Food Festival 2015

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 October 2015

The Dartmouth Food Festival is back for 2015 with a tempting blend of West Country produce, top chefs and engaging foodie talks and events.

The free festival, launched in 2003, takes place on October 23-25 2015. The festival sees around 20,000 people flock to the town each year and is paradise for food fans with more than 100 South West producers showcasing their delicious produce, a packed programme of events and a line up of celebrated chefs demonstrating their skills and inspiring festival goers.

Over the festival weekend, Dartmouth will play host to some of the UK’s top food writers and personalities in the ‘Eat Your Words’ talks and tastings. Events will take place in the Flavel Church, in the centre of Dartmouth.

Visitors can get hands on and stock up on skills in cookery workshops – from filleting a fish to baking the perfect scone, there’s something to suit all home cooks. It’s not just about the food either, the festival will offer a programme of drinks tastings and events for those who want to brush up on their knowledge.

Richard Hunt, chef and proprietor of the Devon Scone Company comments, “The Dartmouth Food Festival showcases all the best produce from the West Country. It is always a must for my calendar, as the whole atmosphere and welcome from the residents and visitors to the festival creates a buzz and passion that is nothing short of inspiring.”

As well as fabulous food in the exhibitor marquees, Royal Avenue Gardens and across the festival, many of Dartmouth’s renowned restaurants will be running special menus and other events.

A programme of children’s activities will be running in the Royal Avenue Gardens. Activities take place all day and are free.

Entry to the festival is free with a charge for some events.  Dartmouth Food Festival relies on the generous support of festival sponsors.

Full details at www.dartmouthfoodfestival.com

Twitter: @DartFoodFest

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DartmouthFoodFestival

EXETER FOOD FESTIVAL TRIUMPHED WITH SILVER WIN AT SOUTH WEST TOURISM AWARDS 2015

Michael Caines with Silver South West Tourism Award_February 2015Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is celebrating another win after the South West Tourism Awards on Thursday 12th February 2015. Exeter’s only city centre festival scooped Silver in the Tourism Event of the Year category sponsored by Bristol Airport for its 11thannual event which took place in April 2014.

Michael Caines MBE, Festival champion and co-founder said of the win: ‘I am absolutely delighted with our Silver at the South West Tourism Awards 2015! The Exeter Food Festival is a celebration of all the fantastic food and drink producers in the South West as well as our region’s rich agricultural and coastal heritage. To be shortlisted with other wonderful events in the South West is an honour and we look forward to bringing our festival to Exeter again this April.’

Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink 2015 runs from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April in Exeter Castle and Northernhay Gardens, with Festival After Dark parties from Thursday 23rd running until late. The three-day festival celebrates the outstanding food and drink of the South West, featuring more than one hundred regional producers, top chefs, workshops, live music and food-themed activities for all the family.

This year’s festival has received a significant increase in applications from new food and drink producers and those who are applying to take a stand for the first time. Of this rise in interest, Michael Caines added: ‘we have been very pleased to not only welcome back valued stall holders but also companies new to the festival. It’s testament to the thriving foodie culture and the quality of produce and hospitality we have here in the South West.’

Now in its twelfth year, the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is supported by Exeter City Council. The festival is a not for profit event.

Tickets can be booked in advance and are available online. For more information or to buy tickets visit: www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk.

Powderham Food Festival 2014

What do you get when you combine a stately home, the best of local producers and a sunny October in Devon?

The Powderham Food Festival of course!  I had the privilege of being invited along to this annual event on behalf of Eating Exeter and I have to say I was not at all disappointed.

As you entered the main courtyard your sense where immediately assaulted by a plethora of sights and smells from the variety of stalls that were attending. And like Aerosmith I didn’t want to miss a thing so my glamorous assistant and I quickly came up with a plan on how to tackle the stalls.

Whilst I would like to mention all the stalls we visited I feel it would be unfair if I miss any so instead here are a few pictures:

Moving beyond the courtyard and into the main house itself you entered a calmer world than that of the courtyard where more vendors were based including the very entertaining spice mix seller from South Africa.

Into the library and an interesting conversation with a purveyor of mushrooms.

We discussed the varieties available in the UK and poisonous vs non-poisonous varieties. Finally we had a chat about correct French translations vs marketing, a strange topic I hear you say but when you look at the next photo
you may understand ……

(for those of you who do not speak French, the literal translation is Death Trumpets!)

Moving out of the library and back out into the glorious sunshine of that day, and we were on the rear lawns of the castle overlooking the main eating and demonstration area of the festival. This year’s theme was ‘No Smoke without Fire’ celebrating barbecue and outdoor cooking at its best. A variety of very entertaining demonstration were underway cooking everything from Slow-cooked pulled pork to smoked and barbecued Ruby Red beef brisket.

We sat spell bound by the demonstrations going on over the fire pit in the tepee and were very impressed by the culinary skills of the Royal Marines before moving on to observe the versatility of the Aga.

In keeping with the fire theme of the day, lunch was taken from the wood fired pizza oven and accompanied by one of the special brewed for the event by Hunter’s Brewery at Ipplepen, a chilli beer!

To round off our day, we perused our way to the upper lawn to enjoy the live music being provided and sit in the beautiful autumn sunshine for a while.

As we watched the world go by around us it was apparent that a good time was being had by all, while only in its third year at present the Powderham Food Festival already has an avid following and I for one am already looking forward to next years!

http://www.powderhamfoodfestival.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/powderhamfest